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burning questions

5 Questions Raised by the New Man of Steel Trailer

Zack Snyder's output as a director may be uneven, but one thing that isn't in doubt is that the man knows how to give good trailer: The new three-minute clip for his Man of Steel is appropriately supersized, giving us lengthy looks at Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Michael Shannon as the villainous General Zod. There's a lot here to get excited about — like Superman's symbol, we're feeling the hope — but there are also more than a few questions raised by what we're seeing ... or not seeing, as the case may be. Here are five things we've been wondering since the new trailer debuted (and stay away if you want to remain totally unspoiled, since we're going to discuss a few casting rumors).

Does Clark Kent work at the Daily Planet in this movie?
Cavill rocks a series of different looks in this trailer — from stripped-to-the-waist muscle-bear to caped-and-careening superhero — but we pointedly never get a glimpse of him in his suit-and-tie Daily Planet drag. (In fact, as you can tell by that dressed-down screencap up above, the dude doesn't seem to own any suits at all ... well, aside from his famous red-and-blue one.) Is it possible that Man of Steel's Clark, who seems to wander the earth a bearded nomad, has no use for a mild-mannered reporter secret identity? Like the old Superman staple of changing clothes in a phone booth, perhaps that's a comic-book plot point that's better left in the past: Can we really believe in the Internet era that no one would figure out that the reporter with the conspicuously yoked-up delts is actually Superman in spectacles?

Is the new Jimmy Olsen a woman?
Rumors flew that Jimmy Olsen was reconceived for Man of Steel when actress Rebecca Buller turned up on the IMDb page for the film ... as "Jenny Olsen." That information was quickly scrubbed, but Buller does get some notable face time in the two most recent trailers; in the one before this, she was running out of the Daily Planet with Laurence Fishburne's Perry White. (When asked about the casting rumor, screenwriter David Goyer quickly clammed up.) The fact that Snyder cast a black man as White indicates that he's not hemmed in by a historical precedent set in the thirties when Superman was first conceived, and though the gender-swap may be controversial, couldn't the Daily Planet use some more female characters besides Lois Lane?

Is the name "Superman" ever mentioned?
Just as Lois is about to suggest the name "Superman" to the Kryptonian sitting opposite her, she's interrupted by some intercom static. The kinda janky cuts in this trailer suggest that maybe that gag was cobbled together independent of what actually happens in the movie, but the implication is that Clark doesn't settle upon a superheroic moniker right away ... which would be apropos, given that the film's title doesn't have "Superman" in it, either.

Is Lex Luthor in Man of Steel?
Yup, that's the Lexcorp logo in the screencap up above. Snyder never announced any casting for Superman's longtime foe, but Ain't It Cool reported in March that actor Mackenzie Gray would turn up as Luthor near the end of the film, and like the Jenny Olsen rumor, this is one bit of buzz that the production team hasn't yet denied. (Quite the contrary: When Goyer was asked why the film appeared to leave out Luthor, he teased, "I don’t think anyone has ever confirmed that we haven’t included him.") Still, it does seem awfully odd that the unknown Gray would score such a pivotal role in a supporting cast dominated by Oscar winners and nominees; might Luthor and Lexcorp simply lurk in the background of this reboot, as Norman Osborn and Oscorp did in the recent redo of Spider-Man?

Are those really Michael Shannon's guns?
Because damn, dude. Hope the Forbidden Phantom Zone's got its own Crossfit class.